North Florida experienced a weather delight (or distress depending on your point of view!) last week in the form of freezing rain and snow.  The words “Florida” and “snow” are two words most people would not place together in the same sentence, but you may be surprised to learn that snow has been documented a number of times in Florida as revealed by records as early as 1891. 

In Tallahassee, measurable snow has not fallen since 1989.

The following information is taken from the National Weather Service Weather Forecast Office Tallahassee, FL about the history of Snowfall in Tallahassee:  Several winters ago, NWS Tallahassee Climate Focal Point, Tim Barry, responded to an inquiry from a reporter concerning snow climatology in Tallahassee. Some of those questions and answers are listed below:

How frequently does Tallahassee see snowfall?

From the information provided in the 1st question, we see that it snowed 32 times in Tallahassee since 1891. Please note that all but 7 of these occurrences were only trace amounts. If we were to divide the period of record (117 years) by 32 we would get a frequency of once every 3.66 years. But as you can see from above, the more frequent occurrences of snow in the ‘50s, ’60s and ‘70s have skewed the results. The return period for measurable snow is just once every 17 years.  The most snow recorded in a 24-hour period was 2.8″ from February 12th – 13th, 1958.

Any interesting or exciting facts about Tallahassee winters?

There is a significant difference between the climate of north Florida and the southern portions of the peninsula. On average, we experience 35 days with minimum temperatures at or below freezing with most of these occurring from December through March. The coldest temperature ever recorded in Tallahassee was -2 F on February 13th 1899. More recently, we dipped down to 6 degrees F on January 21st, 1985.